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WATCH: This Is What It Looks Like When Michelle Obama Surprises A Classroom of 5th Graders

By Nathania Johnson | March 21, 2016

This article is one in a series at The 74 which profiles the heroes, victories, success stories and random acts of kindness to be found at schools all across America. Read more of our recent inspiring profiles at The74million.org/series/inspiring.
Fifth grade students at Watkins Elementary School in southeast Washington, D.C. got the surprise of their young lives earlier this month when First Lady Michelle Obama swung by their school unannounced.
The visit kicked off her spring garden tour, celebrating the seventh anniversary of the White House Kitchen Garden, part of her Let’s Move initiative.
“You guys have this amazing garden, and I’m so proud of you,” the First Lady told the students at Watkins. “I want the world to see all the great things you’re doing and how you’re learning so much about good eating from your garden and your school.”
Mrs. Obama joined right in with the cooking session already in progress, helping to make corn tortillas from scratch using beans and squash.
“I’m excited. I’ve never made tortillas like this before.”



One student exclaimed: “I’ve never seen you before!” to which Mrs. Obama responded in kind, “I’ve never seen you before!”
While making salads using kale from the school’s garden, one student double checked with the First Lady, “You know who Joe Biden is, right?”
Yes, Mrs. Obama said, she does know who Joe Biden is.
Next up was another surprise visit, across town at John Burroughs Elementary. Upon entering the classroom, a boy raced to the First Lady and gave her a hug. She then sat down with the students to dig out earthworms from compost.



The White House Kitchen Garden was first planted in 2009 on the South Lawn of the White House. Elementary school students have always been an important part of building and maintaining the garden.
Bancroft Elementary School students participated in the groundbreaking. They planted 55 varieties of vegetables, according to the New York Times, including cilantro, hot peppers, Thai basil, lettuce varieties, and a berry patch. Mrs. Obama continues to regularly invite local elementary students to the White House for planting, harvesting and cooking.

Children help First Lady Michelle Obama plant the White House Vegetable Garden. (Photo by Samantha Appleton)
Want to bring the First Lady’s gardening initiative to your school? Check out the School Garden Checklist on the Let’s Move website.
Then gather your students for a healthy cooking lesson by whipping up these healthy recipes from the White House Kitchen.

 
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